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Construction work will safely continue at Chard Regeneration site following assessment of COVID-19 risks

| Your Area West

Construction work on the new leisure centre at the Boden Mill site in Chard is set to continue next week.

Works were paused on the site at the end of Friday 27 March and that has enabled the team to assess the risk of COVID-19 to site workers and the wider community arising from continuing the work.

Government has been clear that the construction industry should continue to work, but must do so within the safety guidelines issued. The full assessment of risk has enabled the build team to bring in measures to ensure all construction staff can work safely and that there is no risk to the wider community.

Work on the leisure centre, which will include a brand new five lane swimming pool at the Chard Regeneration site in the centre of the town is due to recommence again on Tuesday 14 April.

Artist's impression of the Mill Yard site in Chard

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and Chairman of Area West Committee, said “Our first priority is to the health and wellbeing of the people on site and in the communities in the surrounding areas. That’s why the highly skilled staff working on the build have undertaken a full assessment and devised a plan that enables them to continue work and help deliver this wonderful facility for the residents of Chard and South Somerset.

“These construction works are a key part in the regeneration on Chard, including a new leisure facility, other community facilities and new public spaces that will encourage not only local communities but tourists to come to Chard.”

Demolition works at the site had been completed on time and the Marketfield car park had recently (23 March) been closed to the public to start preparing the site for foundation works to get underway.

The redevelopment of this site has been a clear ambition of the District Council for a number of years and forms a key part of the wider regeneration proposals for the town. The District Council is the developer of the site and is working in partnership with Alliance Leisure to provide the new leisure centre, and along with the range of other facilities will attract people to the town centre. It will also improve pedestrian links to and from the site as well as to other local services and facilities.

What is the Chard Regeneration project?

Following extensive research and guided by suggestions previously made by Chard residents, South Somerset District Council has worked with partners to develop an ambitious strategy which will bring significant changes to Chard and the community.

Chard Regeneration focuses on regenerating the Boden Mill site in the centre of the town, and proposed components include a new leisure centre and swimming pool, alongside a blend of housing and commercial developments. In addition to this, the scheme proposes a number of other measures to boost business in the town, support events and revitalise the market.

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